Gullah Geechee Task Force meets to discuss land preservation

Gullah Geechee Task Force meets to discuss land preservation

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - The Hilton Head Gullah Geechee Task Force met Monday to discuss land preservation, as well as cultural preservation, something they’re not alone in doing.

“The task force,our role going forward. Unfinished business, heir to property, infrastructure, education, preservation of culture,” said Lavon Stevens with the task force.

All over the Lowcountry, organizations and activists are trying to preserve and protect Gullah Geechee clusters, land, and industries. Industries like fishing.

“My name is Ed Atkins Junior.”

Ed Atkins runs Atkins Live Bait on Lady’s Island.

“I’m the first place you go to get live bait,” said Atkins.

He fishes for local oysters and shrimp. He says his knowledge is part of the Gullah Geechee culture, and helps preserve the resource.

“And so it’s a sustainability that we’ve been have for generations and generations and generations.”

He worries if more Gullah Geechee land is developed, they will lose huge parts of their industry and heritage.

“The way of living, the way of living has been the way of living for many a generation. And if you change that. In this area right here. It will be a disaster almost.”

Future development and land conservation are the two biggest priorities of Ed and the task force face - a task force that may not be around in the future. So taking action now is key.

“When a bunch of golf courses, developments, and all that stuff like that, it’s going to come and hurt this area real bad.”

Right now, the task force meets every other month.

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